As it attempts to start recouping the huge fees it paid to maintain the rights to Premier League football, UK pay-TV giant Sky has announced price increases for its sports and family entertainment packages.
On 10 February 2015, Sky secured the principal rights for the jewel in the crown of UK pay-TV at a cost of £1.392 billion per annum over the Premier League football seasons beginning 2016/17. Commenting on the deal at the time, Sky Sport managing director Barney Francis, remarked: "We are looking forward to bringing even more live Premier League football to viewers. Only Sky Sports will have the best match picks and the best slots so our viewers will be able to follow the biggest matches, the key head to heads and every club at least four times. No other broadcaster comes close."
But no other broadcaster faces such a challenge in making the rights pay, and Sky's move comes months earlier than many had expected. From June 2015, the price of the Sky sports package will be £47 a month, up by £1. The Sky entertainment package — including the increasingly popular Sky Atlantic, described in a recent speech by CEO Jeremy Darroch as one of the main reasons cited by new customers for subscribing to the pay-TV company — is going up £3 a month to £36.